Neither higher property tax bills or an extended moratorium on paying rents are likely the type of Valentine’s Day gifts New York property owners were hoping for this year.
Everything seems to be stacked against NY landlords this year. If it isn’t new taxes, it is tax hikes and extending the free pass for occupants not to pay any rent. While governments like Nassau County have deferred tens of millions in payments they owe, they seem to be offering no break for property owners.
The national eviction ban has been extended until the beginning of April. NY has gone even further, extending the ability of unpaid rent to go unchallenged until at least May 2021. With
rising costs, a meager lottery for a few landlords to get help is going to leave most in a pinch, and it is important not to forget how big of a role real estate plays in the New York economy.
It is great to help hurting renters. Yet, doing this at the cost of sacrificing the property market and financial market could have much more dire impacts on all residents, including renters.
Even though NYC property owners were already half a billion dollars behind on property taxes as we rolled into 2021, tax rate and utility increases mid year have added close to another $100M these owners owe.
On Long Island, Nassau County has made the rare move of admitting overcharging veterans and church properties for property taxes, but they certainly aren’t the only ones. Many more are seeing increases and over inflated bills. All on top of increases in tax values and tax rates, and living costs.
For landlords to survive they must prioritize their bills. There may be some breaks available on mortgages and other debts, but failure to pay property taxes on time is getting on the fast train to losing it all. Challenging these tax bills and filing a grievance is the number one thing most landlords can do to create more financial slack for themselves.
Those that do see renters moving out should take the opportunity to renovate any vacant units with virus proofing improvements, or reposition them for Airbnb. Just watch out for new taxes on short term rentals too.
Landlords should also take PPP loans and other help, or it may not be there when you need it. When the cookies are on the table, take them.
Finally, look into any government paid rent programs, and switch to those types of tenants to secure income going forward.